Author: DC_Adam

Differentiating Through Metal Cards in Developed Markets

Across the globe, the pandemic accelerated the development of new products and breakthrough services for physical and digital payment services, especially within emerging markets. But even in more established markets, the competition heated up, now offering consumers more payment choices than ever. As a result, financial institutions are now looking for ways to stand out and differentiate their offerings to existing customers, while attracting new customers.  

Payment Cards Stayed in the Hands of the Consumers

The pandemic had an undeniable influence on consumer payment preferences worldwide, but even with the rise of e-commerce and digital services in established markets, payment cards remained the most used point of sale payment method. 

In the U.S., payment cards accounted for 55% of all transactions last year, while payment cards transactions rose to 60% in Canada. Similarly in European countries, card payments accounted for 47% of all transactions last year and the number of payment cards issued increased by 6.5% to 609 million, representing around 1.8 payment cards per European inhabitant. There are 6 payment cards per individual in the U.S., the highest penetration globally, compared to similar mature card markets like Canada (5.5), the UK (3), Germany (3.2), Italy (2.2), and France (1.7).

The latest “Growth of Premium Metal Cards” report by Edgar, Dunn & Company showed a surprising 7X preference toward physical payment cards over digital wallets primarily in North America and Europe when transacting in person: 

  • U.S. (66% vs. 10%)
  • France (76% vs. 7%)
  • Canada (73% vs. 8%)
  • Poland (74% vs. 10%)
  • Italy (67% vs. 10%)
  • UK (65% vs. 11%)

Increasing Competition for Customers

Competition from fintechs has heated up and traditional financial institutions in established markets in North America and Europe look for ways to create stronger connections with customers. Financial institutions and fintechs are competing for young and wealthy consumers, who value quality and tend to be more selective and carry fewer and better products.

The research showed that financial institutions can better target sought-after young and wealthy customers by offering a premium metal payment card solution, which is seen as a sign of status and luxury around the world. According to the survey, metal cards were the card of choice (80%) for affluent consumers worldwide, if the benefits and rewards were equal to plastic options. Most wealthy customers worldwide (62%) also would be more willing to switch their bank for one offering a metal card. The preference for metal cards spiked to 77% among millennials (ages 25-34) across all the regions and customer awareness has grown 7%, providing a tremendous opportunity. 

Overall, younger (25-45) and wealthier respondents in North America and Europe showed higher awareness of the offering of metal cards from their banks and are more likely to make decisions based on this premium, luxury offering. As these mature markets continue to see a rise in new generations making purchasing decisions, there is an increased push for financial institutions to differentiate themselves, and metal cards are a great way to do so.

Here are the highlights from the survey on established markets:

North America:

  • United States: Nearly half (45%) of US consumers were aware of metal cards due to the abundance of metal card programs available. This creates a growing demand of 64% of respondents who would choose a metal card over a plastic card if all rewards and benefits were equal, an 8% increase from the previous study three years ago. A quarter of respondents would change banks for one offering a metal card and about half of the respondents (47%) would feel more positive about their banks because they offer metal cards.
  • Canada: Payment cards were the predominant payment method used by Canadian consumers both in-store and online. But because of its low population density, the awareness of metal cards was only 21%, but up 4% from the previous study. Half of Canadian respondents (51%) preferred a metal card over plastic and 33% of Canadians felt more positive about their banks for offering metal cards.

Europe: 

  • UK: Despite low awareness (34%) of metal cards, preference for metal cards increased 8% to more than half (56%) of UK consumers. This leads to a large growth opportunity in this region. 
  • France: Metal cards are not currently offered by many large traditional issuers in France, but awareness of metal cards grew 11% from three years ago. The desire for metal cards increased 6% to 61% of French respondents preferring a metal card over plastic. 
  • Germany: The percentage of respondents that would likely select a metal card slightly increased to over half (52%) with 36% associating metal cards with having an innovative design with exclusivity and luxury. 
  • Italy: The metal cards market is still under development with Italy being a traditionally cash-driven economy, but there is opportunity for growth. 68% of Italians would choose a metal card over plastic. Currently, metal cards offered in Italy are primarily targeted at high-net-worth individuals, adding a solid value of luxury and exclusivity. 
  • Poland: One of the key countries in Central and Eastern Europe that has the largest metal card growth potential of any country in Europe. It had the lowest awareness of metal cards at just 26%, which is up 8% from three years ago. Yet, it led all other European countries in its preference for metal cards (73%), as well as seeing banks that offer a metal card positively (63%). 

Charging Forward

The competition for consumer attention remains fierce. While banks and financial institutions can pursue various options to stand out in today’s market, many challenger fintechs are generating success with consumers by providing premium offerings such as metal payment cards. Challenger banks and traditional banks can excel above the competition by leaning into the consumer desire for luxury and exclusivity with innovative and new premium offerings.

Premium Metal Cards Driving Growth in Emerging Markets of Asia Pacific and Latin America

Payment technology must grapple with security, innovation and adaptive functionality. Ideas to revolutionize this market are already in full swing with different parts of the globe embracing a variety of modalities to engage customers. Yet there is one solution that addresses the needs across all countries, premium metal cards. Metal cards are gaining traction across international borders, meeting the generational divide, and enabling the fintech disruptors always looking to enhance the customer experience to attract and retain new customers.

The 2022 CompoSecure report on “Growth of Premium Metal Cards,” based on a global survey by Edgar, Dunn & Company, identified that metal card programs can be a powerful tool in promoting a positive feeling about a bank, attracting new customers and driving spending by keeping it top-of-wallet. 

The survey of more than 18,000 consumers across 18 markets worldwide sought consumer attitudes on metal cards. Recognition and adoption of metal cards proved to be growing across all regions, while demand soared in the emerging markets of Asia Pacific and Latin America. 

Asia Pacific – Influential and Interested

The APAC region has some of the strongest economies in the world with many of the wealthiest consumers and remains a coveted region for financial institutions. For card issuers, Asia Pacific accounts for approximately half of all credit cards in circulation – which as of 2021 is 3.2 billion, and of this, 1.5 billion are in Asia Pacific, with the majority in China and Japan. This region continues to drive demand for metal cards because the affluent want the premium feel of a metal card.  

The survey found that the APAC region was the most familiar with metal cards- India (76%,) China (65%), Indonesia (59%), Singapore (49%) and Japan (46%). These figures are significantly higher than recognition in the U.S. (45%). Consumers in Turkey (72%), China (68%), India (89%) and Indonesia (89%) said they would have a more positive feeling about their bank because it offered metal cards. Respondents in India (72%) and Indonesia (72%) said they would leave their bank for another that offered a metal card with equivalent rewards and benefits. Five standout economies are prime targets for financial institutions seeking to implement premium metal card programs in Asia Pacific: 

  • India: An astounding 91% of respondents would select a metal card if the rewards and benefits were equal – the highest of any region. Further, 72% are willing to switch banks to get a metal card, up from 59% in the earlier survey.
  • China: Payment issuers should take note of the potential to capture higher transaction volume with a metal card option because 82% of Chinese respondents indicated they would select a metal card over plastic if rewards and benefits are the same. Results are even higher among the coveted younger 25-34 demographic (89%) and the affluent (89%). 
  • Indonesia: Indonesia had the highest response of any region for feeling more positive about their bank if it offered a metal card (89%) and was among the highest response for opting to leave their current bank for a program with a metal card with equal rewards and benefits (72%). 
  • Singapore: 49% of respondents are aware of metal cards, while 29% of respondents who had not heard of a metal card before the survey would like one. 71% of respondents would select a metal over a plastic card if rewards and benefits are the same – a dramatic increase from 59% from three years ago. Singapore also had the highest response of survey respondents that prefer using a metal card for in-person transactions (31%). 
  • Japan: Awareness is growing in this critical market (46% this year, up 5% from the previous study). Younger and wealthier Japanese respondents also were more likely to change banks for one offering a metal card (71% affluent and 52% younger).

Latin America –  Land of Opportunity

Latin America has long been unnoticed in the financial innovation space. However, the fintech market has doubled over the last three years in Latin America, shrinking the unbanked population to only 45% of the population. 

Banks and other financial institutions are aiming their lens to this now booming region with consumers more knowledgeable than ever about their banking options. The study looked at two of the biggest players in Latin America and their consumers’ outlook on metal cards. 

  • Brazil: 65% of consumers are unfamiliar with metal cards, but almost 40% would like one. Metal card awareness has increased 10% since 2018, when only 25% of Brazilian consumers were familiar with metal cards. Even though 45% of Brazilian respondents did not know if their bank offered metal cards, 73% of them said that they would feel more positively about their bank if they were to offer metal cards and would change banks to have access to a metal card, assuming payment card benefits and rewards were the same. In line with consumer demand for sustainably sourced products globally, 87% of respondents would select a card made of eco-friendly materials if all the benefits and rewards were the same. 
  • Mexico: Almost half of the respondents in Mexico (47%) do not know if their bank offers metal cards, however, 88% of respondents would likely select a metal card over a plastic one if all the rewards and benefits were the same. 70% of Mexican respondents would leave their bank for another that offered a metal card. 

As the industry looks to new and innovative ways to differentiate and elevate the customer experience, the appeal of the premium metal card could provide an important disruption to the payments market in these emerging markets. For more information on ”The Growth of Premium Metal Cards”, click here

A New Era of Premiumization

Consumer spending is being fueled by the financial means to fulfill the desire to indulge, according to recent studies. In the U.S. alone, the New York Times reported “excess savings” soared to $2.7 trillion since the outbreak of COVID. After over two years of spending on home offices, decorations and renovations, consumers are embracing luxury spending. Call it retail therapy or a case of YOLO (you only live once), but luxury goods are reporting blockbuster sales despite ongoing supply chain snares, surging inflation, and continued global uncertainty due to the pandemic and war. In fact, the Financial Times predicted luxury goods spending to hit record levels in 2022, surpassing pre-pandemic rates. 

Demand for Luxury

This is a key inflection point for financial institutions as the pent-up desire to spend more on luxury retail goods, travel and entertainment is expected to also carry into the payment cards people want in their wallets. Consumers have long valued premier brands and have demonstrated they will pay more for quality. While the early months of the pandemic upended spending patterns, it became clear by mid-2021 to today that luxury brands not only survived COVID, but thrived, posting strong sales and revenue. Growing alongside these luxury trends is the market for a premier luxury metal payment card.

For example, the American Express Rose Gold® metal payment card was so popular that it “crashed the USPS system.” With its stylish design and quality look and feel, cardholders clamoured for this premium metal payment card which combined durability and sophistication. The weight, appearance and distinctive “clank” on the counter when the metal card was presented marked a new era in the card industry and a growth opportunity that today is advancing around the globe as the attributes of the metal card align with the values and aspirations of consumers.

More Than a Card

Today, premium metal cards are part of a strong rewards program to target a specific consumer demographic, offering the ability for more banks, financial institutions and fintechs to take advantage of the differentiation of a premier metal card offering. The 2021 Metal Card Consumer Study conducted by Edgar, Dunn & Company showed that a metal card program can be a powerful tool in promoting a positive feeling about a bank, attracting new customers, and driving spending by keeping it at the top of the wallet. In fact, the survey showed that most consumers (70%) would select an offer which includes a metal payment card if all rewards and benefits were equal. This preference for metal payment cards increased 4% from three years ago, when the survey was last conducted. A metal card program aligns with consumer interests in luxury, premiumization and environmental sustainability.

As the race to top of wallet continues to get more crowded, financial institutions must differentiate themselves with consumers. This differentiation is what could allow them to capture a higher percentage of discretionary spending, build brand loyalty, and attract a younger demographic, who could be customers for a longer period of time if retained, and affluent customers who likely will be spending more and generating substantial revenue for banks.

While not every consumer yearns to go on a spending spree for high-end luxury goods, there is a solid desire for quality products. As consumers increasingly seek quality over quantity, the exciting opportunity for the payment card space is that the ongoing premiumization was not derailed by the pandemic, it simply shifted to investments in fewer and better products. Premiumization is no longer just about luxury and exclusivity –it is about relevance, aspiration and meaning. Consumers are not only looking for name and prestige, but also quality products and personal experiences.

Making Metal Payment Cards Sustainable

Working in the payment industry for the last 25 years, traveling is a part of my life. I have lived and worked in seven countries. My family and I have seen the pollution in the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the grey snow resulting from China’s industrial areas. Those experiences fueled my passion and commitment to creating a more sustainable world, both personally and professionally. I began my career in Germany, where companies were already developing sustainability initiatives to address environmental issues. I carry the lessons I learned there with me today. In fact, a key reason I now work at CompoSecure is because I believe metal payment cards are better for the environment than plastic.

Recycled Metal

The use of recycled stainless steel plays an important role in sustainable design and alternative energy evolution. Ultimately, the most environmentally friendly materials are corrosion-resistant, durable, have high-recycled content and recapture rates, provide long service life and reduce resource use. Stainless steel provides all these benefits. If the correct stainless steel is selected and properly maintained, it will last the intended life of the product. Stainless steel is also 100% recyclable into the same product with no reduction in quality. 

CompoSecure has been proactively pursuing environmentally friendly products for over 20 years and is now manufacturing card products using stainless steel that contains 65% post-consumer recycled stainless steel. When considering that 33-50% of the card’s weight is made up of metal materials, the overall amount of recycled materials in the card by weight is over 50%, a very high bar for the industry. 

In addition to what materials go into our products, we also analyze how we make our cards, reducing waste and promoting sustainability at every step of the process — from using an energy-efficient LED lighting system to recycling the water used in manufacturing. For instance, CompoSecure uses a closed water filtration system when manufacturing millions of cards a year, enabling a more efficient way to reuse more than 80% of this water

Last year, CompoSecure enlisted Sustainable Business Consulting as a third-party advisor to complete its GHG inventory to assess emissions, energy consumption and waste. The annual report provides a comprehensive accounting of total greenhouse gas emissions for all man-made sources in the United States. As part of its GHG inventory, CompoSecure computed its 2019 and 2020 emissions for its operations and began taking active steps to reduce its overall carbon footprint and offset its energy consumption. CompoSecure purchased Renewable Energy Credits to ensure 100% of its electricity and gas usage is matched by renewable energy credits.

Industry Movement to Green

CompoSecure is not alone in this effort. Several industry initiatives have established standards for sustainability in products and practices, and CompoSecure is the first metal payment card manufacturer to meet these industry standards. 

  • ICMA EcoLabel Standard Certification: CompoSecure achieved ICMA EcoLabel Standard certification and verified assurance on its Ceramic Metal Hybrid Dual Interface Card, Metal Hybrid Dual Interface Card and Metal Veneer Dual Interface Card products in the recycled content category. This certification was created by the International Card Manufacturers Association (ICMA), a global trade association for card manufacturers, personalizers, issuers and suppliers. The EcoLabel Standard Program was created in response to consumer and card issuer demand for more eco-friendly payment and identification cards, sets measurable criteria for assessing the environmental impact of cards and conforms with global ISO principles for environmental labeling through a third-party eco-labeling certification program.
  • UL Environment Claim Validation: CompoSecure’s Ceramic Metal Hybrid Dual Interface Card, Metal Hybrid Dual Interface Card and Metal Veneer Dual Interface Card products achieved Environmental Claim Validation from UL, the global safety science leader and one of the world’s leading sources for credible and sustainable product information. UL utilizes rigorous scientific processes to evaluate the accuracy of environmental claims. CompoSecure will participate in an annual review process to maintain its UL validations.
  • ISO 14001 Certification: The certification process follows standards set by ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) to reduce the effect of global warming and avert any and all adverse impacts on the global climate. CompoSecure’s ISO implementation took place over 12 months. Audits were conducted at CompoSecure manufacturing centers and offices. Through this certification process, CompoSecure has improved its sustainability operations by reducing its waste, improving its efficiency and enhancing operations using a systematic approach embodied in ISO 14001.

We All Have a Part to Play

Education changes minds. I’ve seen that it’s possible to convert resistance to changing to eco-friendlier ways of doing business — when people learn the benefits, they become sustainability advocates. Transforming mindset is powerful and keeps me focused on ideas that can further reduce our carbon footprint. 

It’s exciting to witness the industry’s embrace of change. American Express® and JPMorgan Chase® are leading the way with aggressive environmental initiatives in the financial sector. CompoSecure is following suit by committing to take its environmental initiatives to the next level in the years to come, including a plan to become carbon neutral, shift to renewable energy, partner with financial institutions on reclaiming used cards and bolster research for future, more sustainable products.Sustainability isn’t just good for the environment, it’s good for business. A recent global report based on a survey by Edgar, Dunn & Company of 18,000 people in 18 markets around the world showed a global climate mindset with an overwhelming majority (72%) of respondents saying they would choose a payment card made of eco-friendly materials if all rewards and benefits were the same. Banks can now invest in their bottom-line while also investing in sustainability.
Sustainability needs to be part of the foundation of all companies. Our efforts are just beginning, but my colleagues and I are committed to a higher purpose, keeping this planet healthy for all generations to come.

CompoSecure and Roman DBDR Tech Acquisition Corp. Announce Closing of Business Combination

First Day of Trading on Nasdaq Global Market Under Ticker “CMPO” beginning December 28, 2021

Somerset, NJ – December 27, 2021 – CompoSecure Holdings, Inc.  (“CompoSecure”), a leading provider of premium financial payment cards and an emergent provider of cryptocurrency storage and security solutions, today reported the closing of its previously announced business combination with Roman DBDR Tech Acquisition Corp. (NASDAQ: DBDR) (“Roman DBDR”), a publicly traded special acquisition company. Roman DBDR shareholders approved the transaction at Roman DBDR’s stockholder meeting held on December 23, 2021, and the transaction was completed on December 27, 2021. The combined company is now called CompoSecure, Inc. and will begin trading on the Nasdaq Global Market at market open beginning December 28, 2021, under the ticker symbol “CMPO” for its Class A common stock and “CMPOW” for its publicly traded warrants.

“We are pleased to complete our business combination with Roman DBDR and begin our next chapter as a public company,” said Jon Wilk, CEO of CompoSecure. “As I stated at the beginning of this process, we have a bold vision for CompoSecure, as we deliver superior solutions to the payments, cryptocurrency, and broader digital asset marketplace. We look forward to executing our strategic objectives and believe CompoSecure is poised to accelerate its growth and capitalize on the significant opportunities to generate substantial value for all stakeholders.”

Dr. Donald Basile, Co-CEO and Chairman of Roman DBDR, stated, “We were attracted to CompoSecure for its proven business model, strong leadership, and exceptional products, which has completely changed the premium financial payment card industry. And now it is set to completely change the cryptocurrency storage and security solutions with its new Arculus KeyTM card, the next generation of cryptocurrency cold storage. I look forward to continuing my collaboration with Jon and the management team, helping CompoSecure strengthen and grow its position in the emergent cryptocurrency storage and security industry.”


About CompoSecure and Arculus

Founded in 2000, CompoSecure is a pioneer and category leader in premium payment cards and an emergent provider of cryptocurrency and digital asset storage and security solutions. The company focuses on serving the affluent customers of payment card issuers worldwide using proprietary production methods that meet the highest standards of quality and security. The company offers secure, innovative, and durable proprietary products that implement leading-edge engineering capabilities and security. CompoSecure’s mission is to increase clients’ brand equity in the marketplace by offering products and solutions which differentiate the brands they represent, thus elevating cardholder experience. For more information, please visit www.composecure.com. ArculusTM was created with the mission to promote cryptocurrency adoption by making it safe, simple and secure for the average person to buy, swap and store cryptocurrency. With a strong background in security hardware and financial payments, the ArculusTM solution was developed to allow people to use a familiar payment card form factor to manage their cryptocurrency. For more information, please visit www.getarculus.com.

About Roman DBDR Tech Acquisition Corp.

Roman DBDR is a special purpose acquisition company whose business purpose is to effect a merger, capital stock exchange, asset acquisition, stock purchase, reorganization, or similar business combination with one or more businesses or entities. While the company may pursue an initial business combination target in any stage of its corporate evolution or in any industry or sector, it intends to focus its search on companies in the technology, media and telecom (“TMT”) industries. The company is led by its Co-Chief Executive Officers, Dr. Donald G. Basile and Dixon Doll, Jr. The Company’s experienced board of directors includes former NVCA Chairman and longtime venture capitalist Dixon Doll, Global Net Lease (NYSE: GNL) CEO James L. Nelson, former fund manager Paul Misir, investment banker and investor Arun Abraham, and entrepreneur Alan Clingman. For more information, please visit www.romandbdr.com  Roman DBDR raised $236 million in its initial public offering (inclusive of underwriter’s exercise of over-allotment option) in November 2020 and is listed on Nasdaq under the symbol “DBDR”.

Contacts:

CompoSecure Media:
Wes Robinson
626-201-2928
[email protected]

Brian Ruby
ICR for CompoSecure
203-682-8268
[email protected]

CompoSecure Investor:
Marc Griffin
ICR for CompoSecure
646-277-1290
[email protected]


Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements included in this Press Release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements for purposes of the safe harbor provisions under the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to statements regarding Roman DBDR’s or CompoSecure’s expectations, hopes, beliefs, intentions or strategies regarding the future, including, without limitation, statements regarding: (i) the size, demand and growth potential of the markets for CompoSecure’s products and CompoSecure’s ability to serve those markets, (ii) the degree of market acceptance and adoption of CompoSecure’s products, (iii) CompoSecure’s ability to develop innovative products and compete with other companies engaged in the financial services and technology industry and (iv) CompoSecure’s ability to attract and retain clients. In addition, any statements that refer to projections, forecasts, or other characterizations of future events or circumstances, including any underlying assumptions, are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements generally are accompanied by words such as “believe,” “may,” “will,” “estimate,” “continue,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “expect,” “should,” “would,” “plan,” “predict,” “potential,” “seem,” “seek,” “future,” “outlook,” and similar expressions that predict or indicate future events or trends or that are not statements of historical matters. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding estimates and forecasts of other financial and performance metrics and projections of market opportunity. These statements are based on various assumptions, whether or not identified in this Press Release, and on the current expectations of CompoSecure’s and Roman DBDR’s management and are not predictions of actual performance. These forward-looking statements are provided for illustrative purposes only and are not intended to serve as, and must not be relied on by any investor as, a guarantee, a prediction or a definitive statement of fact or probability. Neither Roman DBDR nor CompoSecure gives any assurance that either CompoSecure will achieve its expectations. Actual events and circumstances are difficult or impossible to predict and will differ from assumptions. Many actual events and circumstances are beyond the control of CompoSecure. These forward-looking statements involve a number of risks, uncertainties (some of which are beyond CompoSecure’s control) or other assumptions that may cause actual results or performance to be materially different from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. You should carefully consider the risks and uncertainties described in the “Risk Factors” section of the definitive proxy statement on Schedule 14A (the “Proxy Statement”) relating to the merger filed by Roman DBDR with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) and other documents filed with the SEC by Roman DBDR and CompoSecure from time to time. These filings identify and address other important risks and uncertainties that could cause actual events and results to differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements. If any of these risks materialize or our assumptions prove incorrect, actual results could differ materially from the results implied by these forward-looking statements. There may be additional risks that none of Roman DBDR or CompoSecure presently know or that Roman DBDR or CompoSecure currently believe are immaterial that could also cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements. In addition, forward-looking statements reflect Roman DBDR’s and CompoSecure’s expectations, plans or forecasts of future events and views as of the date of this Press Release. Roman DBDR and CompoSecure anticipate that subsequent events and developments will cause Roman DBDR’s and CompoSecure’s assessments to change. However, while Roman DBDR and CompoSecure may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, Roman DBDR and CompoSecure specifically disclaim any obligation to do so. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing Roman DBDR’s and CompoSecure’s assessments as of any date subsequent to the date of this Press Release. Accordingly, undue reliance should not be placed upon the forward-looking statements. Certain market data information in this Press Release is based on the estimates of CompoSecure and Roman DBDR management.